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Wyoming Law Students Take a Bite Out of the Big Apple at Pace Competition

March 2, 2009
Three women
Second-year law students, from left, Christyne Martens, Maryt Fredrickson and Temple Stevenson advanced to quarterfinal rounds at the Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition at Pace Law School in White Plains, N.Y.

University of Wyoming second-year law students Maryt Fredrickson of Jackson, Christyne Martens of Watkins, Minn. and Temple Stevenson of Laramie brought home honors from the recent Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition at Pace Law School in White Plains, N.Y.

Martens was Best Oralist in the second round against Florida and Washington, and Stevenson was awarded Best Oralist in the third round against Harvard and Penn State. As a team, the students advanced from preliminary to quarterfinal rounds.

"There were 72 teams total at Pace," says Stevenson, "and moving on to the quarterfinals was pretty competitive as only 27 teams advanced that far."

To prepare for the competition, the team met in Cheyenne with Wyoming Bar Association members Luke Esch, Matt Obrecht and Marion Yoder to assist with a practice argument.

"We could not have done so well without the help and support we received at the law school and from members of the local bar," says professor Diane Courselle, faculty supervisor for the Wyoming Pace team.

The team was selected to represent UW at the national competition after winning an interschool competition last fall. The law firm of Holland & Hart LLP sponsored the Wyoming team to compete in the national competition.

Since 1989, student advocates from across the United States and Canada have participated in this event. The competition draws more than 200 competitors from diverse law schools and 200 attorneys who serve as judges for three days of oral arguments.

Three adverse teams argue the issues, reflecting the fact that environmental litigation frequently involves multiple parties -- the government, a public interest group and a member of the regulated industry. Competitors are judged on skills in appellate brief writing and oral advocacy involving issues drawn from real cases, providing experience in environmental litigation firsthand.

Teams wrote and filed their briefs for their respective parties in early December and in February attended the Pace event for the oral phase of the competition. Those with the highest combined scores for both the written brief and oral argument advanced to succeeding rounds.

"We know Wyoming produces fantastic attorneys in every field, and it felt great to contribute to the state's national reputation as an institution with a strong program in the field of energy and natural resources," Fredrickson says.

" The Pace competition is the premier moot court in natural resources, and we are proud to have represented Wyoming so brilliantly in the national spotlight."

Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009

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